The Dr. Gary L. Kritzberg Collection


I was born in 1955; the first year that “Mad Magazine” launched! How cool is that? In the 1960‘s my father & mother owned a Jewish delicatessen/restaurant in Chicago, IL & just down the street was a small “corner drug store”. In addition to pharmaceuticals they sold paperback books, comics, magazines, penny candy, etc. I was about 9 years old when my parent ‘s first allowed me to walk by myself to the “corner store” where I first discovered “Mad”. My very first purchase was the paperback book “Look ‘s at the U.S.A.” by Dave Berg which I still own today! My favorite artists in those early years were Dave Berg, Al Jaffee, & Don Martin.

Fast forward to about 1992 when I rediscovered my small remaining collection of “Mad” books & magazines. I was thrilled to re-read my own personal copies which inspired & reenergized me to collect “Mad” again. My first major goal was to acquire every “Mad” magazine/comic & paperback issue. In the early 90‘s (before Ebay) that goal proved to be quite the challenge. Networking with other collectors, running small adds in the “Antique Trader” & scouring the flea markets & toy shows was the only way to locate “Mad” stuff. Though I found quite a few rare gems for “cheap” in those early days, most items, including common magazines & books were really expensive by today ‘s standards. Over the next several years & with the help of eBay & various other auction sites I was able to complete my goal with a full run of Mad comics, magazines (ending at about #400), all “specials” with bonus ‘s, the paperbacks (1st & 2nd editions) & the “Big” books.

1995 was my most memorable year as a “Mad” collector. My good friend & fellow collector Tim Johnson & I travelled together to New York to attend the first “Mad” magazine art auction at Christie ‘s. Tim set up a time to visit the Mad offices with Annie Gaines & we met quite a few other fellow collectors: Jason Levine, Grant Geissman & Mike Lerner to name a few. As the years have gone by my collection has grown to include many unique & rare items. Although my passion to collect everything Mad has slowed some in the past few years I still enjoy finding something “different” from time to time; especially premad images & original art.

A special thanks to Bernd Engel for his dedication & support for all “Mad” collectors to share their stories & collections here on the MADtrash site. I ‘m always open to your comments or questions & for the chance to get reacquainted with both old & new collectors…

Contact Gary here


Collection Pictures

Highlighted below are just a few of my more unusual and rare items

Happy Jack Beverage Key Box: c.1930‘s

“Happy Jack” beverage was a drink produced by the A.B. Cook Beverage Co. in the 1930‘s. It was only available for a short period of time in the Los Angelos, CA area. This item was designed to hang on the wall & it opens up to hold keys. It appears to be hand crafted “one of a kind” item.


Stained Glass Window w/Don Martin “characters”

This item is only 1/3 produced in 1995 by Mark Duro; “Master” stained glass artist. This item was conceived by myself in collaboration with the artist.

Stained Glass Window-“Good n Mad”

This item is only 1/3 produced in 1996 by Mark Duro; “Master” stained glass artist. The artist utilized a combination of rare & high quality glass for this amazing piece. It is quite large measuring 18″ x 30″! This item was conceived by myself in collaboration with the artist. The inspiration for this item was the paperback book cover “Good n Mad” by Norman Mingo.

Bill Butts Cigar Box

This super rare “pre-mad” item is the only known example. It is a cigar box & label of “Bill Butts” ca. 1910-1930.

Patsy-Penny Candy Box

Patsy-Penny Candy Box from 1912. Very rare candy box (only one known) with one of the earlier pre-mad images.



Mad Jewelry Mailing Box

Scarce 1958 original Mad magazine jewelry mailing box. In my opinion the mailing box is more valuable than the jewelry itself.

HILL DENTAL CO. “It didn’t hurt a bit” c.1905

Terrific early pre-mad image of AEN appears here on the cover of this near mint dental advertising pamphlet-Super rare!

Cover art by Al Jaffee

Mad magazine fantasy cover art by Al Jaffee. Commissioned in 1996 that depicts me fishing with AEN.


I purchased this watch “Look Listens & Laughs” from the estate (Mitch Berg-son) of David Berg.

DAVE BERG ‘S PERSONAL “Corn Cob” PIPE (b.1920-2002)

I purchased this item from the estate (Mitch Berg-son) of David Berg.


Though this item is not rare the “Like new” condition warrants a special place in my collection.


Though this item is not rare the “Like new” condition warrants a special place in my collection.


Terrific colorful advertising item c.1920-30‘s

Red Head Match Box

Very rare “pre-mad” image c.1920-1930‘s.

“Sunny Boy” Soda Pre-Mad Bottle Cap & Label

NOTE: 1930‘s Super Rare Items. There were many small regional soda companies in the 1920-40‘s. Some examples include Cherry Sparkle, Happy-Jack & Sunny Boy. These companies only produced soda for a few years & hence the rarity of any of their advertising items that remain today.

America and Peace-Pre-mad c.1940‘s?



Rare 1920’s AEN image on this thin cardboard paper advertising sign.

CHERRY SPARKLE (Pre-mad) SIGN-Original

6×13″ embossed tin sign from the 1920s advertising “Exquisite Cherry Sparkle” soda. Sign is marked copyright by the Crown Cork & Seal Co.


6×13″ embossed tin sign from the 1920s advertising “Exquisite Cherry Sparkle” soda. Sign is marked copyright by the Crown Cork & Seal Co.


Fantastic & rare pre-mad Alfred E Neuman item. Likely only known example. Not sure why/who made this item, but appears to be c.1940-50‘s maybe earlier?

Acadia Winter Carnival Pin-back

Rare 1963 (Non licensed) AEN PIN-BACK. Produced to celebrate an annual winter event in Saint Paul, MN.

AEN “On the Bomb” PIN-BACK

NOTE: This pin was likely produced around 1964-65. During the 1950-60‘s there was a “ColdWar” between Russia (USSR) & the USA. There are two near identical versions of this (non-licensed) item. This version shows AEN sitting on a bomb. The parody or gag was based on the 1964 movie by the title “Dr Strangelove” w/the actor Slim Pickens as he rides a nuclear bomb to its target destination USSR / Russia.


Scarce pre-mad advertising item. Great graphics produced in Chicago, IL.

“TOBY ‘S DON ‘T WORRY CLUB” PRE-MAD PIN-BACK-Super rare! 1896-1906

Read my full article of this rare pin-back here!

Original Cover art from Mad magazine issue #337 July 1995 by Mort Drucker

This Mad cover parody was based on Batman Forever a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character Batman. It is the third installment of the initial Batman film series, with Val Kilmer replacing Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman. The film stars Chris O’Donnell, Nicole Kidman, Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey.

Pre-mad wood ink block

AEN image of boy with a yo-yo c.1920‘-30‘s.


Magic Lantern slides were created by painting images and words on pieces of glass and then, by means of a “Magic Lantern” projector. The Magic Lantern was the precursor to today ‘s modern slide and cinema projectors. This early form of the slide projector has been documented to exist as early as the late 1600‘s. In those early years, the images were projected on walls and cloth drapes by using low powered light sources such as candles, oil, kerosene, and gaslight, as well as acetylene, limelight, and the brilliant but hazardous carbon arc lighting. Some regarded these lanterns with skepticism for they represented a new “technology” that was not understood. Still others thought of them as the “devil ‘s work” when a Seventeenth Century priest demonstrated the Magic Lantern ‘s powers. Naturally, it was a truly “magical” experience for those seeing an image appearing from a lantern that had never before been known to produce anything more than a simple light source; hence the name “Magic Lantern.” The slide presented here of an early pre-mad “Alfred” is a hand-painted, color example and, based on the history and production techniques known regarding the Magic Lantern projection system, this slide most likely dates from the1890‘s to early 1900‘s. We know that images of the grinning, freckle-faced boy with the missing tooth have been seen and documented as early as the late 1890‘s. The oldest verifiable image of this familiar face, as noted in Maria Reidelbach ‘s book, “COMPLETELY MAD,” was from the Illustrated London News advertising Atmore ‘s Mince Meat Plum Pudding and is dated 1895. This image is clearly similar to the 1895 as described above.

Mad Magazine Bound Copies

Mad magazine bound copies #24-56 from the personal library of Jerry DeFuccio. Each bound volume is personally signed by Jerry.


Contact Dr. Gary L. Kritzberg


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